Deuteronomy 4:1-2,6-8; Psalm 15:2-5; James 1:17-18,21-22,27; Mark 7:1-8,14-15,21-23
A puffed up, self-righteous man who liked to appear full of virtue once said to Mark Twain, “Before I die, I’m going to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. There, I shall climb to the very top of Mount Sinai and boldly recite the Ten Commandments!” Twain replied, “I have a better idea. Why don’t you stay right here at home and obey them?”
In today’s Gospel Lesson, Jesus addresses the problem of hypocrisy in a confrontation with the Pharisees. It all begins when they notice that Jesus’ disciples eat without first following the ancient custom of scrupulously washing their hands. The Pharisees ask Jesus, “Why do your disciples not respect the tradition of the elders, but eat their food with unclean hands?” And Jesus answers, “It was of you hypocrites that Isaiah so rightly prophesied in this passage of Scripture,
This people honours Me only with lip service,
While their hearts are far from Me.
The worship they offer me…
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